Hummingbirds in Snow

We still have Hummingbirds, and since I figured you wouldn’t believe me, I took photographs to prove it — lousy photographs, but photographs nonetheless.

I took this shot through the dining room window.  That white stuff you see on the roof behind the bird is snow.  I have three Hummingbird feeders but only one is out for the winter.  During our cold snap I had to switch the bottles out every half-hour to 45 minutes to keep the syrup from freezing.

Amoeba calls this fellow pictured above “Dog”, as in Dog-in-the-manger, because he perches on the feeder and won’t let the others come near it.  That only works for awhile though, and then one will get brave enough to challenge him and manage a drink.

This isn’t a very good shot, either. I guess it is hard to take a decent photo when one is shivering. Here you see the Hummingbird on the porch rail in what is left of my herb garden.   Beyond him you can see white snow on the lawn.

UPDATE:  Kelley (Southlakes Mom) sent me a link to a great National WildLife article: The Humingbirds of Winter.

Summer Stock Sunday 2010.06.06

It’s back!  Robin from Around the Island says it is time once again for Summer Stock Sunday.  She wants to know — in pictures — what it is that Summer means to us.

Right now what Summer is meaning to me is
my container garden, flowers and Hummingbirds!

container garden

Container Garden on Back Deck

container garden

Container Garden

herbs & bleeding heart

Herbs & Bleeding Heart

bleeding hearts

Bleeding Hearts


Chives & Surfid Fly


Male Rufous Hummingbird


Female Rufous Hummingbird

A Territorial Dispute

It must be the sugar-rush. I can’t think of any other reason why a one-and-a-half inch bird would decide to take me on. Of course, as Amoeba said, if the birds had an ounce of brain, there wouldn’t be any room left in the package for bird.

As I said I would — in fact, before I even finished the previous hummingbird post — I hung the feeder back up. The birds weren’t as thrilled with that prospect as you all thought they would be. They’d light on the rail and sit below the bird feeder, near the spot where I’d had it when it was down. It seems they want their free dinner and a chair to sit on, too.

Unfortunately, wind or not, the old hummingbird feeder leaks like a sieve. Neither the birds nor I liked that situation. I went out and bought my little feathered friends a brand new feeder. This one is heavier, so the wind won’t bat it round as much. It also has a larger feeding platform — with perches. We now have a male who has pretty much taken up residence and he’s not up for sharing. In fact, when I went out on the deck to transplant some flowers, he had words with me about invading his space.

Apparently he doesn’t know where his sugar-fix comes from. He actually hoovered over me, dive-boomed my head, and chittered at me. I told him to get a grip and mellow out. He did — about an hour later when I came back inside the house. I saw him flitting around outside the door and cheering. He thinks he won.

I wonder where he’s going to get his sugar rush tomorrow?

Food Chain Observations

I love living here. I get to see nature in action on a daily basis. I have eagles and deer and fox and raccoons and any number of delightful critters to watch.

I hung a hummingbird feeder outside on my deck. Amoeba and I contentedly watch the little birds flit in for a sip of supper and flit out again. Yesterday the wind picked up to such an extent that the bird feeder swayed quite tremendously, pouring nectar all over the back deck and upsetting the hummingbirds no end.

I went out, took the feeder down and refilled it, then I sat it on the deck railing instead of putting it back on the hook. Sitting stationary it doesn’t sway and spill. Since it is only a few feet away, the hummingbirds had no trouble finding it. In fact, they seem to be happier with it on the rail and can sit in leisure and sup.

This morning I mentioned to Amoeba how content the birds seemed and he said, “Just the same, you need to hang the feeder back up as soon as the wind dies down. I don’t know if the neighbor’s cats will stake out the bird feeder or not, but let’s not tempt them.”

Too late. There seems to be a feline convention in progress in my backyard. There’s an orange kitty, a black kitty and a tiger striped kitty out there. None of them have approached the back deck yet, but I am willing to bet it is on their “to do” list. Since I am not feeding the birds to make the cats fat and happy, I guess I’d best go move the feeder.